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So you’ve managed to find the best hotel at the right price, and the airline didn’t even lose your luggage. So far, the trip is a success. But before you unpack and hit the streets (or the beach), it’s a good idea to do a little inspecting, making sure the hotel room is up to your standards and as advertised. You might have scored a great deal on the room, but that doesn’t mean everything shouldn’t be perfect. Here’s what we recommend looking for:

1.The Amenities

Of course, one of the most important things when it comes to bath amenities is the quality, but perhaps even more important is quantity. Is there enough shampoo, conditioner, and soap?  How about the other amenities – hair dryer, iron, etc..?  Are they all there?  Is anything missing? Now’s the time to make sure you request anything that’s not there, before you’re in the shower, shampoo in hair, realizing you don’t have any soap.


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2. The Safe

A hotel safe is possibly one of the most critical aspects of the room.  It’s a good idea to leave your passport, laptop, jewelry, and other valuables in the safe whenever you leave the room. But don’t just make sure there actually is a safe; make sure the safe is working. After all, leaving your diamond bracelet in a safe that doesn’t lock is pretty pointless.

3. The Mini-Bar

Some people enjoy making good use of the abundant chips, nuts, and mini vodka bottles on offer, while others avoid those $9 M&M’s like they’re filled with poison. Either way, we suggest you make sure nothing is missing, because if there are supposed to be four Diet Cokes, and there are only two, you could get charged for them. And as you know, they are never, ever cheap.

4. The Damage (or hopefully lack thereof)

You don’t need to get on your hands and knees and inspect things with a flashlight, but you should definitely check out the lamps, surfaces, electronics, and other room essentials, making sure everything is working. Not only will you want a working remote control and bedside lamp, but you don’t want to be charged for damage you didn’t cause. If you find any damage, pick up a phone and let management know right away.

5. The Mattress

We all like to enter a room, throw down our things, and fall back onto the mattress like a child getting his first bed.  But even more important than checking its comfort level is inspecting it for the dreaded (we hate to even say it out loud) bed bugs. Even 5-star hotels can have them, so do yourself a favor and look on and around the mattress seams, under pillow cases, and all along the headboard.  Bed bugs can hide anywhere on and around the bed, so peel back the sheets and examine the entire mattress, including the tag and in any crevices.  Telltale signs are very small black spots and, of course, live bugs. You might also want to keep your suitcase elevated, and inspect your clothes before going home. This slightly obsessive behavior can save you a lot of heartache. And we do mean a lot.

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